AMES — Iowa State found a replacement for its canceled season opener.
The Cyclones will host Incarnate Word, an FCS program out of San Antonio, Texas, Dec. 1 at 1 p.m., the school announced Wednesday. If ISU is in the Big 12 championship game or Incarnate Word is in the FCS playoffs that day, the game will be canceled.
Iowa State was in search of a 12th game after its Sept. 1 opener against South Dakota State was canceled due to weather.
Iowa State will pay Incarnate Word $300,000 and provide charter aircraft for the team's travel to Ames. Iowa State paid South Dakota State $425,000 for the originally-scheduled Sept. 1 game. The Jackrabbits, ranked No. 3 in the FCS, are a likely playoff qualifier.
“Although it’s been a challenging process to identify a school that was willing and able to play in Ames on Dec. 1, we are thankful to the Cardinals’ athletics director Brian Wickstrom and Coach Eric Morris in helping us schedule this game,” Iowa State Athletics Director Jamie Pollard said in a release. “We explored multiple options to give our student-athletes every opportunity to compete and, ultimately, be eligible to participate in a bowl game. Our student-athletes only have so many chances in their career to play collegiate football. I’m very grateful to the administration at UIW for helping us provide our student-athletes, as well as our marching band and spirit squad another chance to represent Iowa State University.”
Fans who purchased tickets for the South Dakota State game will receive tickets to this game.
“We recognize the process of reissuing both tickets and parking will present its own set of challenges for our department and fans,” Pollard said. “Our staff will be in contact directly with our fans as soon as more details are finalized.”
Iowa State will be the first Power Five opponent in Incarnate Word's history. The Cardinals started football in 2009. They opened the season with two FBS opponents, losing 62-30 to New Mexico and 58-16 to North Texas. UIW was 1-10 last year and 1-7 in the Southland Conference.